This heartfelt letter was written by Mrs. Idella Meng, who lived and worked on Palmyra with her husband, from 1920 to 1921. She sent it from her home in Santa Barbara, California, and gives a detailed recollection of her time spent on the atoll 20 years earlier, asking for information on the current state of Palmyra. The letter ends with a note from CO Gordon Rowe, its original recipient, instructing service members and civilians on Palmyra not to respond. However, he does add the letter would be a good item to copy and send home with their correspondences.
Copies of this letter have shown up in several places in my research, including the families of service members. This would indicate Rowe's advice was followed, and has helped ensure the longevity of this unique piece of history.
This material was scanned and catalogued as part of the Palmyra Atoll Digital Archive project, the largest collection of materials related to the history of Palmyra, from its discovery by western explorers in 1798, until its sale to the Nature Conservancy in 2001. You can connect with PADA, and learn more about Palmyra and our passion for its history, by visiting our website, PalmyraArchive.org.